back BACK

Mountain West Birding Company Mountain West Most Wanted

The mother of all mountain west birding trips, this intensive 5 day tour focuses on the most highly sought after birds of the mountain west. Fast-paced bird-filled days should have you in and out in a weekend with a list full of life birds!

Himalayan Snowcock
Himalayan Snowcock “Most Wanted”, 2018
Cassia Crossbill
Cassia Crossbill “Most Wanted”, 2017
Flammulated Owl
Flammulated Owl “Most Wanted”, 2018
Gray Partridge
Gray Partridge “Most Wanted”, 2018
Gray Vireo
Gray Vireo “Most Wanted”, 2018
Black Rosy-Finch
Black Rosy-Finch “Most Wanted”, 2016
Black Swift
Black Swift “Most Wanted”, 2016
Chukar
Chukar “Most Wanted”, 2018
Sagebrush Sparrow
Sagebrush Sparrow “Most Wanted”, 2016

July 17 - 22, 2019

Not only did Tim deliver the birds, but he kept us in good spirits, even when hiking up a mountain at 3am.
Daniel T. “Mountain West Most Wanted”, 2017

Details Max Participants: 7

We can expect to see around 150 species of birds during this tour, as well as more than 10 species of mammals. We will be hiking at elevations between 4,200’ and 12,000’ with hikes up to 2 miles each way possible.

Please be sure you are in the right physical condition to take part in this adventure!

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT

Itinerary

Day 1 - Wed, July 17 Arrive in SLC and Look for Black Swift & Flammulated Owl

Arrive in SLC by 5:00pm and transfer to hotel. Pickup at 6:00pm and boxed dinner to go look for Black Swift, American Dipper, and maybe Virginia’s Warbler. As dusk settles on the Wasatch Mountains, we’ll turn our efforts to Flammulated Owl and Common Poorwill before calling it a night

Night in Salt Lake City, UT

Flammulated Owl in Utah

Day 2 - Thu, July 18 Juniper & Sage Specialists and Transfer to Elko

This morning we’ll visit the desert southwest of SLC for juniper and sagebrush species like Gray Vireo, Gray Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, Ferruginous Hawk, and Sagebrush Sparrow, before making our way west towards Nevada. Some light birding along the way with a stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, and Wells before arriving in Elko mid-afternoon. After dinner we’ll call it a night for our early day tomorrow.

Night in Elko, NV

Gray Vireo in Utah

Day 3 - Fri, July 19 The Search for Himalayan Snowcock

It will be a very early morning--waking by 3:00 and departing by 3:30 am, we'll drive 45 minutes to the trailhead in the dark. The trek to the valley where we'll find Himalayan Snowcock takes about 90-120 minutes at a slow to moderate pace. We give ourselves up to 2 hours to make sure we are in place by 6:30 AM at an ideal viewing location. Then comes the hard work of scanning rugged terrain and slopes for our quarry. It's not uncommon for Black Rosy-Finch and Clark's Nutcracker to grace us with their presence while we search.

We'll spend several hours in search of our target after which we'll make our way back down the trail and back to town for lunch before taking a long afternoon break. In the evening we'll have dinner before visiting a nearby reservoir to see if any fall shorebird migrants are on the move.

Night in Elko, NV

Himalayan Snowcock in Nevada

Day 4 - Sat, July 20 Transfer to Idaho for Cassia Crossbill

Saturday morning is a backup for the Snowcock if for some reason we were unable to track down the target bird on Friday. If needed our morning will follow the same itinerary as Friday, before packing up and traveling northeast to Idaho, where we'll make an evening attempt at tracking down Cassia Crossbill. If we were successful on Friday, we will go birding in the morning around Elko, before departing for Idaho, stopping to look for Canyon Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Calliope Hummingbird before trying for Cassia Crossbill later in the day.

Night in Twin Falls, ID

Cassia Crossbill in Idaho

Day 5 - Sun, July 21 Gray Partridge and Transfer to Utah

Sunday morning will be a 2nd chance for Cassia Crossbill. If we missed out on Saturday, we'll head back to the mountains and spend the morning checking some of the best places these birds are known to frequent, before making the 4-hour drive back to Salt Lake City, with a potential stop or 2 along the Great Salt Lake on the way. If we get the crossbill on Saturday, we will spend the morning around Twin Falls tracking down Gray Partridge, Barn Owl, and Burrowing Owl before heading into Utah and visiting the world famous Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

Night near Salt Lake City, UT

Gray Vireo in Idaho

Day 6 - Mon, July 22 The Incredible Phalarope Migration on the Great Salt Lake

This morning we'll visit the Great Salt Lake where 100's of 1,000's of Red-necked and Wilson's Phalarope typically provide a shorebird spectacle unlike anywhere else in the interior United States. Long-billed Curlew, Western Willet, and Snowy Plover are usually seen as well. We will also attempt to track down Chukar to wrap up our most wanted list, before enjoying lunch at one of Utah's most popular Mexican restaurants, and dropping everyone off at the airport before 2:00 pm.

Chukar in Utah

Most Wanted
Tour Options The only option for this tour is occupancy type.

LOOKING FOR ANOTHER OPTION?
Unfortunately, both this years Most Wanted and Mini Most Wanted Tours have sold out. If you are still interested in seeing Himalayan Snowcock, Flammulated Owl, Cassia Crossbill, Gray Partridge, Chukar, Black Swift or any of the Sage and Juniper Specialists, you can contact me about a private tour, or get on the wait list for the 2020 Most Wanted Tours.

Check out our Mini Most Wanted Itineraries

Mini Most Wanted Options
Western Tanager

What’s Included Here’s what we’ll provide on this tour.

Professional Guide Service

Transportation on the Ground

5 Nights Accommodations

All Meals with Non-Alcoholic Drinks, and Water

Birds—we’ll find some birds

A Thoroughly Enjoyable Time

What’s Not Included Here’s what you’ll need to bring.

Flights to and from Tour

Alcoholic Drinks

Binoculars

Cameras and Lenses

Bug Spray

Jackets or Sweaters

Shoes and Socks

What an amazing experience! We brought two of our kids out on a Flammulated Owl tour with Tim and it was amazing.
Niki J. “Flammulated Owling”, 2017
Himalayan Snowcock and Cassia Crossbill! Another trip with Tim, another success! These were the "big two" for this trip and Tim delivered in spades.
Paul K. “Most Wanted”, 2018
It is great to see a guide who gets excited about seeing the birds and at the same time cares about their welfare!
David D. “Multi-day Tour”, 2018
Tim is a fantastic guide so friendly and kind. He's funny too. I felt very comfortable on his tour which was sold out.
Melissa H. “Flammulated Owling”, 2018
This was my first experience with a guided bird trip and it could not have been better.
Robin C. “1/2 Day Tour”, 2017

What People
are saying… And why they keep coming back for more birds

Top Rated Wildlife Tour in Salt Lake City

Recent Photos Follow me on Instagram or Flickr